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House Passes $8.1 Billion State Budget

House Passes $8.1 Billion State Budget

Tulsa World
From staff reports  
May 17, 2019

The House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year-2020 general appropriations bill today, approving an $8.1 billion state budget that includes historic savings, pay raises for teachers and state employees and builds upon the historic investment made in common education by the Legislature last year.

The budget is a $633 million increase – or 7.8 percent – over the FY-2019 appropriated budget. The Legislature provided an additional $157.7 million for common education, which comes just one year after providing $480 million in new funding for public schools. The Legislature has now increased funding for public schools 26.25 percent during the last two years. The $157.7 million in new funding includes an average $1,220 teacher pay raise and $74 million for classrooms and increases to flex benefits.

The budget also includes $230 million in savings, with $29 million of that set aside in an FMAP Preservation fund to be available for future reductions in Oklahoma’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) rate, a formula used by the federal government to determine each state’s match rate for Medicaid. Those rates fluctuate based upon each state’s per capita income levels. The remaining $201 million will stay in the state’s General Revenue Fund to be saved for future economic downturns. Combined with expected deposits in the state’s Rainy Day Fund, Oklahoma will have close to $1.2 billion in savings by the end of June... FULL ARTICLE

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